Category: SOVEREIGN DOMAIN NAMES

Sovereign Domain Names & Domain Name Disputes

Saudi & Neom Domains Announcement

Announcement: We are no longer brokering any UAE, Saudi, Neom, or The Line Domains.

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Town & Village Domain Names.

https://www.raczyna.pl and https://www.raczyna.com

Raczyna.PL & Dot Com

I wrote a post a while back about Sovereign Domain Names over Iceland the Country trying to sue Iceland the Grocery Chain in the UK.

However moving on I acquired two domain names from where my mother was born in Rączyna (Raczyna.com & Raczyna.pl) in Poland, which I have since developed.

Now I have in the back of my mind slight anxiety because I know how crazy this country Poland is and I have seen firsthand how they demand things, similar to the the Royals in UAE.

Upon doing some research it is apparent that town and village domain names cannot be trademarked, unlike country domain names which in theory cannot be registered as they are part of the sovereign state. This means the Country Name alone cannot be registered and has to have a second or third keyword after it e.g.: ‘UK Domain Brokers’ or ‘UK Website Designers’.

So even though I have recently dropped some ‘Neom’ Keyword domain names I am now feeling slightly apprehensive because the Polish domain names are part of a blog to expand my personal branding and services, but also to teach local farmers about hemp cultivation and CBD products.

So you’re thinking why I am getting myself into a bit of a pickle is because the village ‘Rączyna’ has most of my family living there and because of an ongoing family feud I also wanted to let the whole village know what type of people my family are.

I have tried twice to offer an olive branch to make peace and both times was told they were not interested in making amends. So without mentioning their names, the villagers will put two and two together and will know who I am as news travels fast amongst villagers.

I have purposely not mentioned their names but have put the article under ‘Rączyna News’, Not only that I plan to write an autobiography to include how they have treated my daughter and I. Basically to cut a long story short my Aunt has scammed her way into taking land that rightfully belonged to my mother. My proposal was that they could have the land as long as they started growing hemp. However, my cousin said it was illegal to grow hemp which in the blog I have proved him wrong. I told him if he did not want to work with me I would make sure he would never be able to sell his produce should he change his mind.

So even if they did not use their real names in applying for investments they would surely be found out once they sign written commission agreements which would require a sworn affidavit.

So either way my family bridges have been burnt and to think all I wanted was a public apology from my cousin’s mother and his wife.

If You want to read about it here is the link: https://raczyna.pl/renata-chciala-publicznych-przeprosin-od-rodziny It is written in Polish but there is a translator widget you can use.

So even though I am slightly apprehensive I will wait it out and if the local authorities try to demand I release the domains to them as I have documented evidence that I did try to contact them a while ago to see if they had any objections or if they were interested in acquiring it from me. The domains are in use now. So it will be the case what came first the chicken or the egg.

Towns don’t have trademarks on their names so trademark law does not apply. Anything with a geographical origin cannot be used as a trademark. But once you include some additional letters or text then it is a whole new ball game and these types of domains can be trademarked.

Hence “Cardiff” (Cardiff+ext) cannot be trademarked but “Cardiff Pizza” (Cardiff+keyword+ext) can.

The only time things could go belly up is if the domain damages the reputation of a specific town or village then the domain owner may be held liable for this damage, which will result in a legal complaint and that could result in you losing the domain name.

Obviously, I have not said anything derogatory about the village, just about some of the people in it.

My main focus is to advertise hemp cultivation and CBD production. Even if I lost both these domain names which are merely pointing to my blog they cannot take my blog down and I will have plan B as I have acquired the following domain names which I would put in its place I am merely taking advantage of the fact how much traffic I can generate at this present moment in time:

www.polandmonthly.com

So the only time I think it may be a problem is if:

  • The intended use of the website is illegal and detrimental to your town. (Which it is not).
  • If the domain is readily available to register then there should not be a problem unless it has been registered and is deemed as cybersquatting in exchange for a ransom monetary demand.

The domain is available for registration (if you can go through with the registration it means that it hasn’t been listed as reserved, registrars have lists of domains not available to the public which sometimes include geographical locations), I beg to differ on this as when I first started out many years ago I got a ticking off even though it was not a geographical location for having guccishoes.wales in which Gucci demanded I surrender the domain name. This was many years ago may I add and have since learned what you can and cannot register.

Just remember do not just buy a domain name and sit on it. Develop it to create traffic which will make your domain name more valuable and if you can offer a product or service you are in theory creating equity.

Sovereign Domain Names UDRP.

Sovereign Domain Names UDRP

A while ago I read an article in a newsletter I am subscribed to about Saudi Aramco which is majority-owned by Saudi Royal Family who tried to take a dead man’s domain name.

The company in question was ‘Saudi Aramco’ and the Domain was Orizon.com. The domain at present does not point anywhere and is a dead link to “the site cannot be reached”.

The domain was originally registered in 1997 by Orizon Multimedia Inc. The owner of the company used the domain for his business and later shut it down. The owner then passed away last year.

So Saudi Aramco which happens to be owned by The Saudi Royal Family and is a state-owned oil giant that reached a record-high valuation of $2 trillion after going public in December 2019, meaning it has outside public shareholders but the Royal Family has the highest stakes, decided to file a cybersquatting complaint under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) to try to get the domain.

Now from reading more about NEOM which is a planned futuristic city on the coast of Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea owned by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, I decided that there could be a sovereignty issue, going by how they acquired orizon.com.

I decided that although I would still support my NEOM Domain Sellers, I personally would drop all my NEOM-related domain names for one simple reason and that is ‘Sovereignty’ if the Saudi Royal Family wants full control to include digital assets all they have to do is just insist on taking them, after all these domain names have been registered after NEOM City came to light.

I wrote a while back about Iceland the country suing Iceland UK’s grocery store for having the .co.uk counterpart of the dot com. So reading that Saudi Aramco was given Orizon.com as a gesture of goodwill makes me think that whoever was on the board should have stuck to their guns and compensated the family of the deceased man but that did not happen, which I think is unfair.

Now I have had interactions with the Royal Family in the past and I have reached out to them directly and have had no response back relating to the domain names. This tells me they have no intention of buying them and when the time is right they will most probably just acquire them by whatever means they can.

So my gut feeling is they know that they could have these domain names if they so wished, hence they are not interacting until the time is right.

Further reading has highlighted there are problems with the NEOM project.



In my own professional opinion, the powers that be who have their advisers could have decided to hand register all the domains to secure global positioning before all the domains got out of hand when they first went to build on the project and made it public.

Instead, this has not happened, and if looking at the footage of bricks-and-mortar real estate and what happened to Abdul Rahim Al Huwaiti is anything to go by, what hope is there for NEOM digital assets? I shudder to think.

The advisors are to blame for not managing the digital properties properly as when you build anything to do with the business you have to secure your brand including digital assets.

So if anything the marketing advisers are at fault for not securing these domains when they had a chance.

Now it is going to cost them an arm and a leg (no pun intended) to start a UDRP and get the domain names back. Legal fees are (between $1500 & $4000 for 1-5 domain names).

So if each domain was settled out of UDRP through my services for $1200 with $1000 going to the domain owner and $200 per 1 -5 domain acquisitions there would be a saving of between $200 and $2800. Or in the case of 6 -10 domains, the cost would be $1500 with $1200 going to the domain owner and $300 as part of my services, which would be a total saving of between £500 & $3, 500. I am confident that the domain owners would much prefer to settle rather than pay to defend themselves. Either way, it is a very uncertain situation and we will have to see how this pans out.

WIPO FEES.

https://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/guide/#i

Therefore what it will cost them to go through a Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy the Domain Name Consultants for NEOM, might as well pay the domainers a fraction of the cost of a UDRP and avoid all the time and money dragging it through courts.

I am now available for Domain Acquisitions Service and will help acquire the domain names for a fee and would hope that all NEOM Domain Investors are compensated some monetary value as a gesture of goodwill.

I am now personally concentrating closer to home and supporting local businesses and one day hope to visit Neom when it’s built.

We all need to work together not against one another. By offering gestures of goodwill to compensate for people’s troubles, you too will also be rewarded by God.


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Saudi & Neom Domain Names

Saudi & Neom Domain Names

Neom’s Sovereignty Domain Name: A Unique Web Presence Unavailable for Registration

Neom, the futuristic and ambitious city-state project in Saudi Arabia, has taken a pioneering step in the digital realm by establishing its sovereignty over a unique domain name. In a strategic move to reinforce its distinct identity and showcase its commitment to innovation, Neom has acquired a domain name exclusively reserved for its use.

Neom’s Sovereignty Domain Names:

Where digital presence is crucial for any entity, Neom has set itself apart by securing a dedicated domain that reflects its sovereignty. The domains that have NEOM +Keyword, are not just a web address; it is a testament to Neom’s commitment to being a global hub for cutting-edge technology, sustainable living, and unparalleled innovation.

The decision to not be able to own a sovereignty domain name aligns with Neom’s vision of creating a city that transcends conventional boundaries. It symbolizes the city-state’s independence and unique identity in the digital space, allowing Neom to control and curate its online presence with precision.

Terms and Conditions: Unavailability for External Registration

Neom’s sovereignty domain name comes with a set of terms and conditions that explicitly state its exclusivity. In the terms of service outlined by Neom, it is expressly mentioned that the sovereignty domain name, cannot be registered or acquired by any external party.

This stipulation is in line with Neom’s dedication to maintaining its distinct identity and ensuring that the digital representation of the city-state remains under its control. By restricting external registrations, Neom safeguards its brand integrity, preventing any unauthorized use or misrepresentation of its online presence.

Implications for the Digital Registrations:

The acquisition of a sovereignty domain name by Neom raises interesting questions about the evolving dynamics of digital presence for city-states and ambitious projects. While traditional domain names are subject to the regulations of global domain registrars, Neom’s approach challenges the norm by taking control of its digital identity within the borders of its sovereignty.

This move may inspire other ambitious projects and entities to explore similar avenues, redefining the relationship between digital presence and territorial sovereignty. Neom’s sovereignty domain name sets a precedent for a more nuanced and strategic approach to managing online identities in an age where the virtual landscape is as crucial as the physical one.

Understanding Sovereign Domain Names: A New Frontier in Digital Governance

The concept of sovereign domain names is gaining prominence as a crucial aspect of digital governance. Sovereign domain names represent a departure from the traditional domain name system (DNS) and introduce a new paradigm where nations assert control over their digital identities.

Defining Sovereign Domain Names:

Sovereign domain names are web addresses that are managed and governed by a nation-state, reflecting its digital sovereignty. In contrast to the conventional DNS, where domain names are administered by global entities like the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), sovereign domain names empower nations to independently control and regulate their online presence.

Key Characteristics:

  1. National Control: Sovereign domain names give nations direct authority over the registration, management, and policies associated with their top-level domains (TLDs). This control extends to decisions on who can register within their TLD, ensuring that the digital space aligns with national values and regulations.
  2. Security and Privacy: With sovereign domain names, nations can implement robust security measures to safeguard their digital infrastructure. Enhanced security protocols can be enforced, mitigating cyber threats and ensuring the protection of sensitive data within the national domain space.
  3. Cultural and Linguistic Identity: Sovereign domain names enable nations to express their cultural and linguistic identity online. Countries can choose domain names that reflect their heritage, language, and unique attributes, fostering a stronger online representation that aligns with national values.
  4. Legal Jurisdiction: Digital activities within sovereign domain spaces are subject to the laws and regulations of the respective nation. This allows for a more streamlined legal jurisdiction, ensuring that online activities comply with national legal frameworks.

Significance of Sovereign Domain Names:

  1. Digital Independence: Sovereign domain names promote digital independence by reducing reliance on global entities for domain name governance. Nations can tailor their online presence to align with their specific needs, free from external influence.
  2. National Security: Enhanced control over digital infrastructure and communication channels contributes to improved national security. Governments can implement measures to protect against cyber threats and ensure the resilience of their online assets.
  3. Cultural Preservation: Sovereign domain names provide a platform for the preservation and promotion of a nation’s cultural and linguistic heritage. This fosters a sense of identity and belonging in the digital realm.
  4. Data Governance: With control over domain names, nations can implement stringent data governance policies, ensuring the protection of citizens’ privacy and sensitive information.

Challenges and Considerations:

While the concept of sovereign domain names holds promise, it also raises certain challenges. Balancing national control with the global nature of the internet, addressing technical complexities, and ensuring interoperability are crucial considerations in the implementation of sovereign domain names.

Sovereign domain names represent a significant evolution in the management of the digital landscape, offering nations greater autonomy and control over their online identities. As discussions surrounding digital sovereignty continue, it is essential to find a balance that fosters national control while maintaining the interconnected and collaborative nature of the global internet. The emergence of sovereign domain names is a reflection of the evolving dynamics in digital governance, and its impact will undoubtedly shape the future of the internet.

The Thin Line: Sovereign Domain Names and the Risk of Cyber Squatting

As the concept of sovereign domain names gains traction, it brings with it the potential for a new set of challenges, one of which is the risk of cybersquatting. Cybersquatting refers to the act of registering, trafficking, or using a domain name with the intent of profiting from the goodwill of someone else’s trademark or brand. In the context of sovereign domain names, the line between legitimate national representation and cybersquatting becomes a delicate balance that needs careful consideration.

Understanding Cyber Squatting in the Context of Sovereign Domain Names:

  1. Exploiting National Identities: Cyber squatters may attempt to register sovereign domain names to exploit a nation’s identity or brand for personal gain. This could involve registering variations of a country’s name, government institutions, or cultural symbols to deceive users and exploit the reputation associated with the sovereign domain.
  2. Monetary Gain: Similar to traditional cybersquatting, individuals or entities may register sovereign domain names in the hopes of selling them to the respective nation or entities affiliated with that nation at an inflated price. This opportunistic approach exploits the lack of a clear regulatory framework for sovereign domain names.
  3. Undermining National Representation: In some cases, cyber squatters might register sovereign domain names with the intent of undermining the legitimate representation of a nation online. This could involve hosting content that tarnishes the nation’s image or misrepresents its values, potentially causing reputational damage.

Preventing Cyber Squatting in the Sovereign Domain Name Space:

  1. Robust Legislation: Nations adopting sovereign domain names need to establish clear and robust legislation that addresses cyber-squatting specifically within their digital domain space. Legal frameworks should outline penalties for those engaging in deceptive practices related to sovereign domain names.
  2. Monitoring and Enforcement: Active monitoring of domain registrations and quick enforcement of policies are crucial to preventing cybersquatting. Nations should establish mechanisms to identify and address instances of malicious registrations promptly.
  3. Educating the Public: Educating citizens, businesses, and government entities about the risks of cybersquatting is essential. Awareness campaigns can help stakeholders recognize potential threats and take preventive measures to safeguard their digital assets.
  4. Collaboration with International Bodies: Given the global nature of the Internet, collaboration with international bodies and organizations is crucial. Cooperation can facilitate the sharing of information and best practices to combat cybersquatting on a broader scale.

While sovereign domain names offer nations greater control over their digital identities, they also introduce the risk of cybersquatting. Mitigating this risk requires a proactive approach, including the establishment of robust legal frameworks, active monitoring, and international collaboration. By addressing these challenges, nations can ensure that their sovereign domain names are used for legitimate purposes, preserving their online representation and protecting against malicious actors seeking to exploit the digital landscape for personal gain.

Conclusion:

Neom’s ownership of sovereignty domain names marks a significant milestone in the intersection of technology, urban planning, and territorial identity. By reserving the domain for its exclusive use, Neom not only establishes a unique online presence but also sets a precedent for how other entities may approach digital sovereignty. The terms and conditions explicitly stating the unavailability of external registration highlight Neom’s commitment to maintaining control over its digital identity. As Neom continues to evolve into a global hub for innovation, the ownership of a sovereignty domain name underscores its dedication to shaping not only the physical landscape but also the virtual one.

I have suspected for a long time that domains relating to NEOM, THE LINE, etc even with NEOM+Keyword have sovereign issues, Thank God that the UK does not have the same problem aka: www.ukdomainbrokers.com www.ukwebsitedesigners.com www.ukcontentwriters.com www.ukbusinessbanking.com www.ukbusinessbanking.co.uk To think I did reach out to Neom many moons ago and was stonewalled just shows their lack of clarity and transparency could lead to entrapment for the unscrupulous domain investor. In my opinion, they should have done a press release, rather than stick it on their small print, terms and conditions that no one reads. It was only brought to my attention when another investor started promoting “The Line” domains on LinkedIn that I had to do some research and put my ten peneth in. I have taken the careful decision not to broker any Saudi-related domains on this platform and if you see an article please let us know so that we can edit it or take it down.

Thank you for your understanding in advance.


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Further Reading:



#saudidomainnames #neomdomainnames #thelinedomainnames #neom #neomcity #uae #abudabidomainnames dubaidomainnames #uaedomainnames #qatardomainnames #riyadh #riyadhdomainnames gulfdomainnames ‘jeddahdomainnames #jeddah

Reverse Name Highjacking

***Reverse Highjacking of a domain name

Reverse Highjacking is something some entites will do in order to force the owner to give up their domain name for free.

The argument here is if the name was available from day dot then the entity should have registered it as soon as it was possible even reserving and putting limitations on people trying to register a domain as in the cases of domain extensions such as dot eu whereby one has to be a resident of the eu to own the domain or in the case of Arab Emirates dot ae. I have never heard any cases of a country/city/town making claim to a two or three word domain other than:

www.visitqatar.com

As one person commented on the post, the entity should have acquired a list of domain names for limitation in order from this happening, so that the registrant would have been prevented to register a trademark let alone a domain name.

The registrars should stop selling domain names that have legal implications and limitations unless the registrant can prove without reasonable doubt that he/she has rights to owning that domain.

***In the case of ‘Neom’ names, I have attemped to reach out to neom.com both of their social media platform and sending an email and so far I have not had a reply. This is starting to look very uncertain and someone needs to address this. In this day and age one has to show transparency. Obviously I want to protect my clients and have their best interests at heart.

Facebook Message…..

As far as I am concerned there are only two options.

  1. Let anyone and everyone register two and three word domain names with the word ‘Neom’ in it, without any repercussions.
  2. The entity acquires a list of keyword domain names and put limitations on the words.

***Our business model offers website design, marketing and advertising we simply do not offer domain names for sale without a business plan. We also have a list of keyword domain names, some are registered some are not.

***Anyone who has further information on this needs to contact us at hello@cymrumarketing.com

Sovereign Country Name Domain Names

Country Domain Names

Sovereign Country Domain Names.

I was having a conversation with my solicitor a while back and we were talking about branding and how you should not brand your business as a country name. Moving forward to today I had a request to help sell a country name and basically, you cannot register country names with the view of branding them without getting yourself into hot water. Here is a scenario a British well-known PLC company Iceland.co.uk branded itself as a Business selling Frozen Food.

Iceland Foods Ltd is a British supermarket chain headquartered in Wales, with an emphasis on the sale of frozen foods, including prepared meals and vegetables. They also sell non-frozen grocery items such as produce, meat, dairy, and dry goods. The company has an approximate 2.2% share of the UK food market. CEO: Malcolm Walker (Feb 2005–) Founder: Malcolm WalkerFounded: 1970Number of locations: 800Parent organization: Brait

However, they have got themselves into a bit of a pickle as Iceland Government is attempting to sue them. Please read the following link: https://www.compumark.com/blog/getting-right-happens-brand-name-country/

So the moral of the story, although country domain names have been bought and sold before, it’s only a matter of time before the Government of that country may turn around and sue. https://namebio.com/?s==kTN1MzM4IjM Do you want to face legal action for not being original.

The Icelandic government has confirmed it is considering launching a lawsuit against British supermarket Iceland over its name. It has taken 46 years for Iceland to contemplate filing a lawsuit against the trademark ‘Iceland’ according to Iceland’s ministry of foreign affairs. This would mean a “cancellation action” against the supermarket’s Europe-wide trademark registration for the name Iceland.

Promote Iceland, a marketing agency linked to the Icelandic foreign ministry, said it has no intention of forcing Iceland Foods to give up its brand but wants to make sure Iceland the brand does not stop other companies also calling themselves ‘Iceland’ across the UK & EU. (I can already see an argument as a trademark can argue that if another company sets themselves up in the EU, for instance, selling Iceland Foods that they could have a staked claim towards that company) Is it me or can I see a future UDRP? Your comments are welcome….. Managing Director Jon Asbergsson of Promote Iceland’ Marketing Agency said “We are looking for a ‘live and let live’ outcome”.

The way I see this is the word ‘Iceland’ can be interpreted as ‘Ice Land’ which can be argued. Furthermore, if the brand is helping the economy and is in no way affiliated with Iceland the Country and it has been trading since 1970, why take 46 years to sue the trademark owner? As long as the sovereign state secures the dot com for its country then the other domain extensions could be used for other purposes.

The government said the supermarket chain has launched and won “multiple cases” against Icelandic companies for using the word, “even in cases when the products and services were not competitors.

According to the Icelandic Government. a decision about legal proceeding with this claim will only be made after a full evaluation of the interests of Icelandic businesses and their people.

The spokesman for ‘Iceland’ the brand said “We have also traded as Iceland for many years in other EU countries, and in non-EU countries, including Iceland itself. We are not aware that our use of the Iceland name has ever caused any confusion with Iceland the country.”

The relationship between the supermarket and the Nordic nation is by far a very frosty one.

To read the full article please follow this link: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/23/cold-war-iceland-the-country-may-sue-iceland-the-chain-over-name

In relation to other country names I personally would steer well clear of them unless you were branding yourself like www.ukwebsitedesigners.co.uk or www.ukdomainbrokers.com or www.cymrumarketing.com Can you see where I am going with this and that I have not just used the Country ‘Cymru’ or ‘UK’ alone but instead used a combination of words.

Stay Safe People!

More news coming in on the same topic of ‘Sovereign Immunity’ date 29/08/19 or for the US readers 08/29/19. A chap by the name of Jean-Noël Frydman, who registered France.com in 1994 was sued by the French Government and he lost his domain. It stands to reason you do not hold a country name hostage. You cannot register a sovereign name unless you like the publicity. You can read more about it here: https://domainnamewire.com/2019/08/29/court-rejects-frances-appeal-in-france-com-case/

I do have one question, why did it take so long for it to come to court? Ummm……

#sovereigndomains #sovereigndomainnames #sovereignnames #trademarkeddomains #trademarkeddomainnames #trademarks #udrp